Hemingway's religion of death : the cult of the bullring

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Garrison Scherich Hupp (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Robert Stephens

Abstract: This paper represents my attempt to link two important forces in Hemingway, death and primitivism, and to trace their logical development into the cult of the bullring. In a world that had obtained a temporary peace, it was only in Spain and in bullfighting that Hemingway's obsession with death could find the arena that would provide the spectacle of man's domination of death through courage. A primitive view of death too became an obsession, even a compulsive ritual, for Hemingway. Hemingway's constant theme of wounding and death was a direct result, I argue, of the trauma produced by his terrible wounding in Italy; the trauma that brought about a regression or primitivization of behavior; the trauma that produced a compulsion to live again the scenes of wounding and death. Under these circumstances, we learn that, in the case of compulsive neurotics, primitive ritual becomes the means of holding onto reality and keeping the dark forces under control.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1972
Hemingway, Ernest, $d 1899-1961 $x Criticism and interpretation
Hemingway, Ernest, $d 1899-1961 $x Religion
Hemingway, Ernest, $d 1899-1961 $x Settings

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